It’s summer, the air conditioning is on, and your AC is making strange sounds you’ve never heard before. What could be wrong? This can be a difficult situation for many homeowners, especially those without an HVAC background.
Don’t worry, most AC problems can be diagnosed by the common signs they exhibit. The good news is that in most cases, the problem is easy to fix, saving you time, money, and frustration.
However, if your AC is making strange noises and you don’t know how to troubleshoot, R.E. Long Services is on-call for your convenience!
Humming Sound: Check the Belt
If your air conditioner makes a humming sound and you can’t figure out why it might be because the belt is slightly loose. You will know your belt is loose if you can fit your hand underneath the belt. A belt that’s too loose will also cause the AC unit to vibrate.
Fixing the loose belt is easy. You just need a flashlight, a crescent wrench, and a screwdriver. Simply remove the grille with the screwdriver and tighten the tension pulley with your crescent wrench.
Tightening the belt should stop the humming and vibration, so you can get back to using your AC.
Buzzing Sound: Check The Motor Shaft
If your air conditioner is making a buzzing noise, you should check the motor shaft for obstructions. If there is a lot of dust or lint on the shaft, it will cause the motor to drag and makes a buzzing sound.
You can clean the motor shaft using a dry cloth or vacuum cleaner attachment. If the buzz is coming from the cold air intake, make sure the motor turns on and off with ease and doesn’t get hot before or during the cooling process.
Homeowners can also experience strange sounds coming from the front of the HVAC. If the buzz is coming from the front of the unit, run a stress test to make sure there are no obstructions.
Vibrating Sound: Check the Condenser Fan Blades
If your AC makes a vibrating sound, check the condenser fan blades and tighten any loose bolts. The condenser fan is typically located on the side panel of the outdoor unit. If the fan doesn’t seem to make any noise, check the status of the alternator at the outlet and make sure it’s not tied to the fan blades.
You may also need to replace the condenser fan blade assembly portion of the fan belt. This component is attached to the fan with a long hose. Tension on this small part often causes the blades to vibrate rather than rotate freely, which can cause condensation to form on the ground surrounding your AC unit.
Another reason your AC could be making a vibrating sound is your coils may need to be cleaned. The coils inside your AC unit are responsible for transferring heat out of your home. If your coils are dirty or corroded they may start to vibrate. To clean your coils, wipe them down with a cloth or brush.
Grinding Sound: Check Your Compressor
A compressor’s grinding noise is usually caused by pistons compressing refrigerant gas. Typically, they make this noise when the compressor is worn out, which means that you may need to replace the compressor. Sometimes, this means that it’s time to replace the entire air conditioner completely.
Rattling Sound: Check the Evaporator Coil Fins
The most common cause of a rattling sound from a window air conditioner is that the evaporator coil fins are obstructed or have been bent or damaged in some way. This can happen due to improper installation, but it can also happen over time if you’re not careful when you’re handling the air conditioner or moving it around.
To inspect your air conditioning unit’s evaporator coil, remove the front panel of the unit and put it on something soft to prevent any damage to the unit. Make sure it’s not in direct sunlight as overheating can cause damage as well.
Next, look inside the unit. You should see a movable rectangle or square within the air conditioner. It will have fins or slats in it. Those are the evaporator coil fins.
If the unit’s evaporator coil fins have been bent or damaged, you’ll need to replace them.
The above methods are only a few common reasons that an AC is making strange sounds. The best way to diagnose the problem is to have a professional technician come to your home and evaluate your HVAC system.
Note: When calling an AC repair technician, it’s best to identify the kind of strange sound you’re hearing. That way, the technician can assist you in fixing the problem quickly and effectively.
However, if you’re standing in the Florida heat, and you need to get the air conditioner working fast, try to use the information above to troubleshoot the problem.
AC is Making Strange Sounds: Prevention Tips
The previous troubleshooting tips can help you determine why your ac is making strange sounds. But what if you can prevent your AC from making strange sounds in the first place?
It’s entirely possible with proper routine AC maintenance. Below, we’ll share tips on how to keep your AC running in tip-top shape while keeping strange sounds at bay.
Change Your Air Filter
This simple tip can save you a lot of money, hassle, and headache.
Ideally, air filters need to be changed every month or so, but if you have allergies, you’ll need to replace the filters more often.
A new filter will keep your air clean and fresh and it can help to avoid strange sounds coming from the AC.
Clear Away Plants and Bushes
Not all AC maintenance comes from the inside of your home. You’ll need to consider the unit outdoors and the surrounding area, including overgrown vegetation.
When your trees and bushes grow too big and prevent the AC from effectively removing hot air from your space, your AC will have to work much harder. Since it’s working so hard, it’s going to wear down much more quickly than it should. If you can cut down the overgrowth outside your home and around your AC unit, you can prevent this from occurring.
Check Your Drain Line
The drain line is another important consideration for AC maintenance. If the drain line has clogs, water cannot flow freely through the entire condenser, and the system will operate inefficiently. Examine all of the connections on the condenser, and look for any signs of rust or debris. If you notice anything suspicious, contact a professional to clean the condenser out.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
One way to make sure that your HVAC isn’t overworking is by installing a smart thermostat. These units are capable of reading data from your HVAC and adjusting the temperature in your home or office to make sure that the temperature is exactly where you want it to be.
According to Nest, you can save up to 15% on your cooling costs by investing in a smart thermostat.
While there are many smart thermostats on the market, some of the more popular ones include Nest, Ecobee, and Lux.
If Your AC is Making Strange Sounds: When is the Right Time to Schedule AC Maintenance?
It is important to schedule your AC maintenance every year before the summer season begins. This is especially the case in Florida when ACs are typically running around the clock to keep your home cool.
When you need to keep your AC running all the time, it’s especially important that it should also be functioning properly. Proper AC maintenance is not only important to keep your AC running smoothly, but also to protect the components of your AC and avoid accidents.
Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer and go through the damage or harm of your AC, it is best to schedule your AC maintenance every year.
If your AC is making strange sounds, R.E. Long Services is here to help! Contact us today for AC repair, AC maintenance, and more.